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A Diminutive Mahogany Ladies Secretary, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, c. 1800-10

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The upper case of this small scale desk has a molded cornice above a cross-banded frieze. Set into this frieze is inlaid stringing forming elongated intertwining loops. The two glazed doors, formed of six panes each, are medially divided, and the mullions of the upper section converge to form Gothic arches. Behind the doors are two shelves with four small horizontal birch desk drawers above pigeonhole letter slots. The front of the fold-down writing leaf and lower case is veneered and cross-banding with birch inlay frames two false drawers and the working drawer, the latter of which is opened by oval Hepplewhite brasses.

The hinged writing leaf is in the form of a lap desk, which opens to reveal a tooled leather writing surface. The case is supported by slender turned and reeded legs, the upper portions of which are bulbous and taper to ring turnings with elongated feet.

Related Images: Bill of sale and description from Israel Sack, Inc.: image of desk from American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, Vol. V.

Height: 64 ½ in. Depth: 31 in.
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